Series: Beholder #3
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis: For Elea, there’s never been a better time to turn away from witch life. The Tsar is in exile. The Vicomte is dead. And Rowan? Falling for him only broke her heart. Instead of casting spells, Elea spends her days running Braddock Farm and enjoying the flirtations of the very handsome and non-magical Philippe. Everything is going perfectly, except for one problem.
Someone’s trying to kill her.
Shujaa is a Changed One, a Creation Caster mage whose mutated form makes him invincible in battle. Now that the Tsar and Vicomte are gone, Shujaa wants to rise and rule. To do so, he must eliminate all those powerful enough to oppose him, and Elea is top on his list. Anyone who offers her aid quickly ends up dead.
In the end, there’s only one person who can keep Elea safe while helping her defeat Shujaa: Rowan. Like it or not, Elea must team up with her old love. With Philippe along for the ride, Elea plans to team with Rowan without losing her heart this time. But that’s when all her plans fall apart…
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When I woke up again, it was still night. Rolling onto my side, I propped my head on my hand. For a time, I watched Rowan’s chest slowly rise and fall as he lay beside me. Moonlight shifted over his handsome features. He looked better, but still not back to full strength.
He cracked open his right eye. “I can’t sleep with you staring at me.”
“I’ll look away.” I didn’t, though.
Rowan opened both his eyes and stretched his arms over his head. “How long have we been asleep?”
“I’m not really sure.”
Rowan frowned. “What has you worried?”
“Your mother. She’ll try to cause trouble.”
I stared at Rowan’s handsome face in the moonlight and then did what was possibly the most Zuchtlos action of my life. I leaned over and kissed him. Rowan’s mouth was as soft and delicious as I remembered. I suppose my impulsivity could have ended there, but it didn’t. I rolled atop him so our bodies lay flush against each other. Our kiss deepened. Rowan’s warm hands slid up my back. Words started tumbling from my mouth. “I’ve never slept with a man before.”
Rowan narrowed his eyes. “What’s this about?”
I moved to straddle his waistline. “You know what I mean.”
“If we have sex, you’re as good as married to me.” Rowan’s gaze turned intense. “You have to choose this, Elea.”
“I do. Really.”
“Our bodies say otherwise. We haven’t shared energy.”
A shiver of doubt moved up my spine. “Maybe we can’t.”
“We already did. With Viktor.”
“Your mother says it’s not possible for the energy to go both ways. You can only give me your power.”
“In that case, we definitely can. If something is good for me, then she goes out of her way to ensure it won’t happen.”
“She also says I drain you.”
A muscle ticked along Rowan’s jaw. “That’s my choice.”
“What do you mean? Please tell me.”
“When you’re ready, we will bond. I have no doubt of that. And I want a real mating. One that changes everything. A true mating transforms how we kiss, how we fight. It’s worth waiting for. You’re worth waiting for.”
My eyes stung with held-in tears. “How do you know that?”
“You’ve been in love with me from the first time you saw me, same as I fell in love with you.”
“That’s not possible.”
“We’re both people with heavy burdens who carry them for others. We give much to our people, but for ourselves? We have only each other.”
My hands were splayed on Rowan’s chest. I stared at my mating ring. “Then why can’t I share energy with you?”
“For some of us, love is easy. But trust? That takes longer.”
A chill crept over my skin. His words hit the mark inside me. When I spoke again, my voice was a rough whisper. “Trust does take longer. Tristan betrayed me.”
“With the curse.”
I nodded. “Everyone says that our relationship is impossible.”
Rowan wrapped his hands around mine. “What do you want, Elea?”
“I want to sleep with you.”
A small smile rounded his full lips. “No.”
“You’re a damned noble menace, you know that? Why can’t you take advantage of a girl like a normal person?”
“You know why. And if the situation were different, you wouldn’t take advantage, either.”
“Maybe I would.”
“Then take me. I won’t stop you.”
I reached toward the waistline of his leathers and stopped. “But you want to wait.”
Rowan arched his brow. “You see? Pleasant as this would be, I know you too well. You’re only trying to prove that I’m as evil as everyone else. I take advantage and I lose you.” His gaze turned intense again. “And I won’t lose you.”
All of a sudden, voices sounded from the courtyard outside the window. People were yelling. I rushed to the window and looked outside. Casters were scurrying about everywhere. Bells began to ring.
Someone pounded on the door. “It’s Kade. Is Rowan awake?”
“I’m up,” called Rowan.
“You’re needed right away,” called Kade. “A battle is coming.”
“There’s no point asking you to stay out of this fight, is there?” asked Rowan.
“Not at all.”
“Good.” He winked. “We make a good team.”
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
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